Will a pixie suit me? Will it work with my hair and lifestyle? What will my family/friends/coworkers/boyfriend/girlfriend think? Will it look good with my facial shape and body? Will I look too masculine? Am I too old for a pixie? Too young? Will I perish with frustration when I want to grow it long again? Don’t fret, darlings, I’ll help you figure it all out. Let’s start with, well, your starting point, and things to consider.
If you’re looking for that classic pixie that has been worn by Mia Farrow, Emma Watson and oh-so many others, it’ll probably require the least amount of styling if your hair is relatively straight, and neither very thick nor very thin. The individual strands can be quite fine/thin, but if your hair in general is very thin, there’s a possibility that a lot of your scalp will be visible with hair this short – this will be more visible on dark hair than on fair.
If your hair doesn’t fit these “requirements”, here are some good news: you can definitely still have a pixie. Blogger Karla from Karla’s Closet has rather curly/wavy hair, for instance, and it looked wonderful on her. Just remember that half the charm with the pixie is that it’s so care-free and easy, so it shouldn’t require an hour of styling on an everyday basis. A good hair stylist should be able to come up with suggestions on how to adapt a pixie style to suit your texture.
Face and body
When it comes to facial shapes, the general rule out on the Internet seems to be that if you have anything resembling a round face, you need to avoid the pixie like the devil. I strongly disagree. In fact, I think a pixie tends to look better on those with soft, “curvy” faces, than on those with a long, slim face, for instance, because it creates such a lovely contrast between a very feminine face and that short, boyish hair. If you do have a long, slim face, you can still do the pixie, just remember that you might want to add some more traditionally feminine elements (like lipstick or lots of mascara) if you’re afraid of it looking too masculine. In fact, when it comes to hair and facial shapes, it’s all to do with proportions, so if you have a very wide forehead and very narrow chin, you probably don’t want to have a very fluffy, voluminous pixie. In that case, a more close-cropped pixie will be better, because it can balance the shape of your face.
The pixie does push all your facial features center stage, though, so there won’t be much to hide behind any more. You don’t need the perfect brows/nose/skin/whatever (“perfect” anything is such a myth anyway), but I think you will feel more comfortable in a pixie if you’re generally comfortable with your own face.
As for the body, the Internet says only for really, really skinny, but still feminine fairies, and I say for anyone who wants a pixie. I’m plus size, after all, and no, it doesn’t make my head look freakishly small compared to the size of my body. I also think a pixie can look killer if you have a muscular, more masculine body (and even like to go makeup-free), as long as the pixie-wearer likes her own look. I mean, how awesome is this and this, for instance? In short, when it comes to questions about your face and body, I say that pretty much anyone can make it work, as long as you’re comfortable with all aspects of you being very visible. Nothing to hide behind with a pixie, remember?
Style and lifestyle
So, I think we’ve established that my general attitude is that the pixie isn’t only suitable for a very narrow kind of person, hurrah! It’s a bit the same when it comes to personal style – but I do think the pixie looks best if you have a somewhat defined style. By that I mean that the pixie usually does make a statement of some kind, and if the clothes and accessories below it look… a bit confused, without direction, then the pixie can look out of place. It looks especially good with anything that plays on the contrast between masculinity and femininity, such as the gamine or an androgynous style, but can also look lovely on anything from a nerdy, almost mousy girl, to a punk babe, to just a very casual, more anonymous look. Don’t be put off if you feel rather confused, style-wise, though, because a pixie can be a wonderful inspiration to reconsider and refine your style.
As for age, I don’t think a pixie has any limits there. With fear of repeating myself: as long as you are comfortable with your features and with yourself, a pixie can definitely work for you.
Unlike personal style, lifestyle and where we live is something we can’t always control. Humidity can cause frizz, lots of rain means a straightened pixie can spring out of shape again, and if you make your living out of something that means you’re pretty much always working out in some way, your normally gorgeous pixie can look sweaty most of the time just because of your everyday activities. I think the easiest way to work with your surroundings is to get a pixie that keeps styling at a minimum, because that means your hair will probably look the same pretty much all the time. If in doubt, write down the things you normally do in a week, and see how many of them can sabotage a pixie. Such things can be swimming, getting sweaty, rolling around in a bed, being outside in crazy weather. My personal solutions are hats/umbrellas for outside, slicking it back (completely wet) when swimming, and making it even more messy if there’s no way I can tame it. Also, remember that a pixie will probably require more frequent trims than long hair, so your budget has to have room for that.
A few words on washing and styling the pixie before we continue. When I had long hair, I’d wash it about every three days or so, because my scalp is sensitive and my hair just seemed to prefer it that way. With the pixie, though, I wash it every other day, and every day if I need to use a lot of products. Preferably, I’ll just use a little bit of gel/something sticky after a shower, but as it grows longer and I need to add more goo, I’ll have to wash it more often.
What will people think?
Yeah, so, here’s the thing: some people just don’t like pixies on girls/women. Those people will always exist. But it’s not your job to satisfy everyone in the world, and you don’t owe anyone to look any kind of way. When I meet people like that nowadays, and I catch them glaring at my hair, I just smile as annoyingly wide as I can. If someone is so judgemental that they can’t like me if I have the hairstyle I want, then I don’t want them in my life anyway. If I get a rude comment (or worse, a backhanded compliment), I usually just reply with a breezy “oh, well, I like it”. That tends to do the trick.
Sometimes, though, we simply can’t avoid those pixie sceptics. You might have a lover that isn’t very enthusiastic about them, for instance; in that case I’d have a good talk about why they feel this way, and why you think you would love having that haircut. The thing about hair is that it can symbolize a lot of things. Figuring out what’s really behind the pixie hate (or the pixie love, for that matter), can be helpful. After that, it’s simply a matter of weighing your pros and cons. If you’ll allow me to be frank, though: anyone who feels that all your value as a human being lies in you having long hair, well… I’m not sure they’re all that good for you, and you can do better.
Oh, and while we’re talking about hair and symbolism, I know there are some who fear a pixie will make them feel less sexy. I won’t deny that there is a certain allure in long, flowing hair, and that I felt very different in my burlesque class when I didn’t have anything to throw around. But I still think the pixie can be very sexy, it’s just in a different way. Part of it has to do with how a pixie makes me feel more confident; stronger, somehow. Cutting off almost all your hair says something to the world about what kind of person you are. Simultaneously, a pixie makes you feel rather vulnerable. Your neck, your ears, your shoulders, they’re all just out there! Where everyone can see! And that can be very sensual indeed.
Growing it out
This will be the shortest section in this blog post, simply because I haven’t really grown out a pixie yet. I had very short hair when I was about fourteen years old, but it wasn’t really a pixie, and I definitely wasn’t very stylish, so we won’t get into that. There are lots of other blog posts and guides out there, though, so Google will be your best friend. If your hair grows rather slowly, the growing pains will probably be a bigger con than for someone like me, with hair that grows like bamboo. Here’s the thing though: if the pixie really is right for you, you’ll probably want to stay like that for quite some time anyway. Deal with the growing out stuff once you get there, so it won’t stop you from getting a haircut you might truly love. Also, unless you get your pixie cut every four to six weeks, the length will vary enough to let you experiment more. I wrote that blog post about how to style a pixie when mine was on the longer end of the scale, because it gave me more to play with.
Signs that you might be ready for the pixie
– you wear your hair up and away from your face a lot of the time
– your Pinterest hairstyle board is increasingly populated by pixies
– you feel like your long(-ish) hair is just “there”
– you’ve done your research on what kind of a pixie would suit you
– you’ve written a pro/con list (or at least read this one a few times)
– you’ve considered the pixie for more than a month
– the “well, it does grow back”-argument seems stronger every day
Are you really ready?
If you need more info on how you can prepare for getting a pixie, I’ve written several blog posts about my own process – you can find them here. I also made this little guide (see below) on what I tell my hair stylists before a cut. I don’t have a regular hairdresser, actually; I got the cut done at a quality salon with knowledgeable staff, have had it cut in my home town (under my watchful eyes and lots of instructions), and have the most wonderful colleague who cuts my hair nowadays. The most important thing is to do your research, both on the style, your requirements, the salon and the hairdresser.
Right. I just wrote almost two thousand words on a haircut, so this blog post better be useful for someone out there! Do let me know, won’t you, darlings?